Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD has described the government’s latest proposals to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis as lacking in ambition and radical thinking.

Deputy Murphy made her comments as an emergency Housing Summit, hosted by Minister Eoghan Murphy and attended by the chief executives of local authorities, concluded this evening.

Deputy Murphy said:

“Today’s new target for the delivery of 20,000 social housing homes by 2021, while it is an improvement on previous targets, is clearly not going to be enough to resolve the housing and homelessness epidemic that we are facing. There are currently 92,000 applicants on local authority housing lists – that’s about a quarter of a million people waiting for a permanent and secure home.

“The thing is, these waiting lists aren’t static – the numbers are growing every day as more and more people in precarious employment and facing soaring rents and insecure tenancies find themselves unable to source housing on the private market. For these waiting lists to be cleared in the next decade, we’d need to see 10,000 social units built a year, not 4,000 as is now planned.”

Deputy Murphy said she broadly welcomed the announced shift in social house building policy towards the direct building of homes by local authorities and housing bodies, as well as the plans for more coordination between relevant bodies.

She added:

“The announcements of 200 extra emergency beds in Dublin and €10 million extra for family hubs are drops in the ocean, particularly given that one in three of the 8,160 people experiencing homelessness right now are children. Overall, this is very much a case of a missed opportunity. The measures announced this afternoon are lacking in ambition and vision and it’s hard to see much new and radical thinking in what is proposed.”


8 September 2017

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